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Showing posts from January, 2020

Beautiful Women Can't Be Trusted . . . Or Can They? | Rita Hayworth in GILDA

I've been racking up some serious time at the Belcourt Noir Fest 3 this month! It's been a joy watching films from my favorite genre in the theater.  GILDA kicked off the series -- scorching the screen and leaving me wanting more. In noir, the femme fatale and the good girl are the two most common female tropes -- the femme fatale beautiful and deadly, a black widow that can't be trusted, and the good girl who is wholly devoted to the leading man but often doesn't get the guy. However, GILDA takes these character types and fuses them into Rita Hayworth. Hayworth absolutely smolders in the film. From the iconic hair flip to the spicy quips to the jaw-dropping musical performances, one assumes she's out to seduce and destroy. But she's not. Her purported dalliances and the trouble she causes are revenge for her broken heart -- one fractured by Johnny Farrell, the leading man. She plays games to make him jealous but doesn't get the desired effect

As I Lay Dying

It's intimidating to discuss authors like Faulkner when well-educated academics can give a more thorough, intellectual exposition of his work. Still, as a girl growing up in the south with superstitious and even criminal relatives, I'm strongly connected to his characters. I know them--I've loved and hated them my entire life. As I Lay Dying is a poetic, absurd and comedic tragedy with Anse Bundren hell-bent on taking his dead wife to Jefferson to lay her to rest. He's of the notion that he's honoring her final wish, but the trip desecrates her corpse and makes fools of the entire family. However, it's interesting how his children and the community comply with his ridiculous plan while knowing they'll regret it. Armstid comments, " . . . if there aint something about a durn fellow like Anse that seems to make a man have to help him, even when he knows he'll be wanting to kick himself next minute." Is it allegiance to blood that cl

2019: The Year of the Reread (And Re-Watch)

2019 was the year of the reread for me. I read some great new releases, but more often than not, I plucked books off my shelves and indulged in my favorites. I also made a point to watch films adapted from books. So with that said, here are my top five book-movie combos from 2019. 1. A Streetcar Named Desire — Tennessee Williams is my favorite writer. His work is lyrical, humorous, and beautifully tragic, and I just can’t think of anyone who has a deeper understanding of humankind. Obviously, Streetcar is a landmark piece, both as a play and a film, but you can’t go wrong with any work by Williams. I also watched/read Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Baby Doll, Night of the Iguana, and The Fugitive Kind.  2. In a Lonely Place — Here Dorothy Hughes is showing the boys how it’s done by reversing traditional noir roles and creating a “femme fatale” in serial killer Dix Steele. The film strays from the novel’s plot but is a classic staring heavy hitters Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Gra